Space IoT: The Final Frontier

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

The greatest transformation in the history of aerospace is happening now. The confluence of new technology combined with the evolution of space-based markets presents incredible opportunities for companies in the connected space.

Joining us on this episode to break it all down is Dennis Muilenburg, Former CEO of Boeing and current CEO of New Vista Acquisition Corp., a SPAC focused on emerging technologies in the aerospace and defense sectors.

Topics we covered:

- Significant changes in the connected space over the last 20 years

- How SPACs help emerging space IoT technologies

- Evolving space-based markets

- What’s on the horizon for space exploration

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You think about things like Earth observationalone and the number of different market sectors that that kind of new information anddata serves. It's it's an incredible new opportunity for the future, a tailormade for small start ups. You are listening to over the Air Iot connecteddevices and the journey, brought to you by vary. In each episode wehave sharp, unfiltered conversations with executives about their IOT journeys, the mistakes theymade, the lessons they learned and what they wish they'd known when they started. Hey, everybody, welcome back to over the Air Iot connected devices andthe journey. Today we're going to be talking about SPACS, space and SpaceIot. My guests today former CEO bowing and current CEO of New Vista,Dennismallenberg. Dennis, welcome to the show. Hey, thanks, Ryan, it'sgreat to be with you. Thanks for coming on. So, Dennis, most people know you as a life for at bowing. Can you giveus a little bit of background on your new adventure? Yeah, you metjust a couple of weeks ago. We did the IPO on a new spackcalled New Vista Acquisition Corps, and I we're focused on the emerging technologies ofthe aerospace and defense sector. So I look back over the history of aerospacethe last one hundred plus years, I think this is the greatest transformation inthe history of aerospace, and that's including the jet engine age space age.The number of new technologies that are all coming together at once right now andreally transforming aerospace is an incredible opportunity and that's where new vista is focused.I totally agree. As you know. You know, going back to Boeingand then we'll catch back up with this space theme, you guys were doingsome really cool things that would later be called Iot. I think at thetime referred to more as systems of systems, but you just bringing in our audiencekind of up to speed. Can you give a little background on someof the cool projects that you were working on during your time there and then, like maybe we'll look for some connective...

...tissue through to, you know,the projects that you're interested in right now. Yeah, Ryan, you know this. This goes back almost to twenty years back when we were working ona system of systems programs, as we called it back then. As yousaid, that was iot before it was Iot, and one of the bigprograms we worked on was something called future combat systems, and this was aprogram for the US army to try to bring new networking technology and robotic technologiesto soldiers and to push that out to the tactical edge. And we workedon a number of different systems that would connect soldiers in new ways, newcommunications gear, robots, both flying and crawling, robots that could be controlledin the hands of soldiers out in platoons. All of that connected back to theirmain tanks and other platforms that they would operate in. All of thisnetwork to cross about two dozen different systems that we're all being developed in parallel, all of which could operate as a cohesive what we call brigade combat team. So it was fantastic technology in terms of connectivity and new ways of operations, and it also brought about new organization structures, operational structures for the USarmy. So it's interesting how the technology and organization structure both kind of transformedtogether that that was an awesome effort, really a precursor to allot of theother system of systems work that's now been done over the last two decades.If I recall, that award was circa two thousand and two, two thousandand three, is that about right? Yeah, just about twenty years ago. What would you say like looking back in the the years from then tonow, what are some of the significant changes you've seen in the connected space? Can you talk a little bit about that arc that like have got youfeeling really jazzed about two thousand and twenty one? Well, I think someof the trends that we see in a continuing to accelerate is priest bandwidth andreliability of connectivity. So as now, as we look at the proliferation ofG and new levels of connectivity, we look at things like satellite communications technology, which is now very commonplace, those...

...high bandwidth, high connectivity capabilities areenabling all kinds of new technologies on their own. Vehicles that are connected,people that you can stay connected, you know, around the clock, aroundthe world. All of those things are transforming how we live and it's excitingto see that arc and it's actually not slowing down, it's speeding up aswe think about new communication technologies for the future. Okay, let's take thatpush that threadforward. Bring us up to present day. So New Vista.You guys just raised a boatload of money. Quarter of a billion, maybe slightlynorth of that, for your spack. Your orientation is towards space. Specifically, as I understand its, space Iot, which show, which isthe coolest term anyone's ever said on this podcast. What can you tell usabout what you guys are interested in focused on? What kinds of things arewe going to be seeing out of New Vista? Yeah, we going backto new Vista. When we look at the emerging technologies that are of interestto us, you see things like artificial intelligence, autonomy, new networking technologies, new manufacturing technologies, new propulsion systems, new satellite networks made up of microsatellitesand nanosatellites. These are small, much smaller scale network satellites, ifyou want to use that term of Space Iot, connecting thousands of thousands satelliteson orbit. All of those technologies coming together at once are transforming logistics andtransportation. Things like e commerce, which are satellite enabled, things like advancedair mobility, flying taxis, which are highly connected machines, again using space, space communications, areas like next generation defense systems, and then the foundationaltransformation of the space ecosystem. You think about low earth orbit, right,a hundred miles plus up above the the surface of the earth. Today there'sreally one destination, there international space station, but over the next decade there's goingto be massive growth in new destinations,...

...space factories, space tourism, awhole new transportation system to serve that ecosystem, all connected by satellites andcommunication techniques. All of that crease this new space Iot and it's transformational.It's going to make low earth orbit the next big ecosystem and it's really interesting. One of the things that we often hear from venture capitalists is that thecompanies doing really interesting things in space have much too long of a time horizonto be like interesting as portfolio companies. It feels like spacs fill that gapeffectively. Is that your view on it? Yeah, I agree. Spacs area great new vehicle to help some of these private startup companies mature withwith the time skills needed to field new hardware and space and ultimately become asuccessful public company. And traditionally space is a hardware and software kind of business. VC money often, I'll say, shies away from hardware businesses and tendsto focus more on just digital and software. Space Business also tends to have higherregulatory burdens, you know, and certification for space hardware if you're goingto put humans into space. Arguably the most difficult thing that mankind does isputting humans in space. But those higher regulatory boundaries you'll also tend to extendthe timelines. So sometimes venture capitalists don't have enough patients for those kind ofinvestments, whereas a spack can come alongside these private companies not only be aprovider of capital but also a provider of additional technical depth and operational experience,really a long term kind of business partner, and and that's really the business modelthat we've developed with our new vista spack. So we're looking for greatemerging technology space companies, companies who will make this space iot environment a reality, but they can also use a partner who can bring a strong amount ofcapital along technical expertise and operational expertise,...

...with a long view of the ideaof ultimately producing a successful public company, you know. So some of ourlisteners out there are probably asking themselves, Hey, look, space is themost fascinating thing that you can do. I The entrepreneur in question, thisFi digious person and interested in starting a company or directing my company towards spaceto participate, you know, in this really exciting arena. What advice wouldyou have for a smaller company that wanted to participate in Space Iot? What? What are some of the gaps that you think will be there? Maybea smaller company could be really effective at that, like the larger companies.Obviously going to do the huge pieces like the propulsion systems and things like that, but are there gaps that you think, if you were advising you say,Hey, look, I really think if you focused he or there's someopportunities to get in there. We see several several evolving space based markets wheresmall companies are being successful. One is in the in the launch market andsmaller rockets, medium sized rockets, many rockets, if you will, withsmaller payloads, so as satellites get smaller in size, but these nanosatellites andmicrosatellites I talked about earlier, the size of the rocket to take them intospace comes down and is simplified and and we're seeing a number of companies thatare entering that marketplace with the idea of reducing the cost to get to space, breaking the cost curve and thereby increasing access to space. That's a veryluquidive area and a number of new startups are being very successful there. Asecond area of interest is in a satellite to design itself, with companies whoare now d printing satellites, designing new very small scale satellites that are networkedwith very sophistically a payloads and putting thousands of those on orbit with multiple launches. Again, that's something that the capital and scale of a small company canactually achieve. So that's an exciting area...

...for the future. That if youthink about the services that ride on these networks, these new satellite IOT networks, fabulous variety of companies that are working in it, in that area onthings like Earth observation, new reconnaissance and surveillance capabilities, new communication capabilities,dozens and dozens of small startups that are primarily software companies that are now operatingon this new space based network and satellites, and the number of applications there isalmost unlimited. It's incredible how much values being created. You think aboutthings like Earth observation alone and the number of different market sectors that that kindof new information and data serves. It's it's an incredible new opportunity for thefuture and tailor made for small startups. MMM, yeah, interesting as you'rethinking about commercial applications of some of these things. Let's talk about the moonfor a second. I've heard you mentioned that traveling from Earth to moon andback needs to be well, those are my words, not yours, byparaphrasing, but more like a highway and less Lewis and Clark. Can youtalk about what some of the specific challenges? You know, obviously take off andlanding feels extremely important, but what are some of the really important technicalchallenges that you think meat would need to be solved for to turn it moreinto that highway experience where you did don't even think about it too much.You're able to something that you would feel good recommending your friends and family embarkon. Well, this is the exciting part about space travel that's involving rightbefore our eyes, Ryan. It's it's the most exciting time and space explorationthat I can remember, even going back to the Apollo days, and thefirst steps going to be building out this lower orbit ecosystem that I talked about. I think space travel in that realm will become very commonplace over the nextdecade or two. You already see a number of companies that are working onthings like space tourism, the ability to bring humans to the International Space Station. There's going to be a number of...

...companies that operate in that space successfullyand before too long you're going to see lowerth orbit space travel become as commonas a commercial airplane travel is today. Then, stepping from there, thenext thing is to return to the moon. With NASA, there's a program underwayto do that, the Artemis Program, the big rocket that's going to bringhumans back to the moon, the new space launch system that development testingis underway and on Nassa's planning the first mission in two thousand and twenty four. And think about this. Putting humans back on the surface of the moon, this time to stay, and I think that's one of the big bigchanges, is to create a permanent lunar base, permanent operations that will allowthe transportation to travel between Earth and moon to become more commonplace, become ahighway, as you said, and then developing a lunar gateway that can thenserve as a gateway for deeper space exploration to things like asteroids and then ultimatelyputting humans on the surface of Mars, and one of the my favorite thingsto talk about back when I was at Boeing was that same space launch systemof rocket, which I believe will be the rocket that ultimately does take thefirst human to the surface of Mars. I want to ask you one lastquestion about the moon. There were talking about Mars and then I definitely can'tlet you go without talking about mining asteroids. But sixty nine was the first timewe went to the moon. When was the last manned mission to theMoon? have been early s early sevens. Yet it feels when you talk tofolks, when the baby boomer generation, it feels personal. You know thatwas such a big part of their story to go and and in away that I'm not sure like all space narratives feel. It feels like we'reback, we've come full circle. We haven't been at a long time.It's a topic a lot of people touch on. Do you feel like we'returning to the Moon is personal for you? Do you feel a personal attachment tobeing a part of that story? I do. I feel a verypersonal attachment to it. I still remember,...

...as a very young child, watchingthe the Moon landings the Apollo landings and just marveling, marveling at that. I had the privilege during my bowing career to meet Neil Armstrong and spendsome time with him. What a fantastic guy, incredible man, great courageand very humble about what he accomplished, being the first human stepping foot onthe moon, and I was always inspired by that, something that inspired methroughout my entire career and now it's it's just exciting to see us returning tothat opportunity, as I said, not only getting back to the moon butsetting up a permanent base there. A lot of people don't realize how muchof the technology from the Apollo program changed so much of our lives here backon earth over the last many decades. A lot of the computing technology,the IOT technology that we talked about can trace its way back to the spaceprogram. New Materials, new medical equipment, so many things that transformed life onearth because of the space program and now I think we'll see a secondwave of that as we go back to the moon, set up a permanentpresence, go to Mars. The technology ripple the benefit back to humans hereon on the surface of the earth is going to be extraordinary and many thingsthat we don't even know yet right. So, asteroids. I've heard itsaid that the world's first trillionaire will be made very possibly be the I orperson that that gets this right, that really figures out how to get inthere mind some of these what are to US rare elements may not at allbe rare in the core of an asteroid. Is this something that really turns yourcrank? Is that something that you think new vista would be taken ahard look at? Is is companies that are may be oriented in the directionof being able to be a part of that story? Is that on youguys's radar? Yeah, I think that this something. Certainly it's going tobe a high interest to us over over time. I don't see any companiesthat are ready to go public yet in that sector to certainly a lot ofthe investment that's going into into asteroid minding...

...and I think this whole area ofdeep space expiration will ultimately be of commercial interest to us as well at NewVista. And this idea of asteroid mining is a is a fantastic one.Right there. They're almost unlimited possibilities there. It could be rare minerals and andother capabilities that we could find on these asteroids. There companies already demonstrateingthe ability to rendezvous with an asteroid, land on it, be able topick up a material from the asteroid return it to Earth. So those technologiesare already being developed and demonstrated. Now that the trick will be to dothat at scale and to do it in a way that's economically viable. Andit's not only about going to asteroids and mining and bringing stuff back to Earth, it's also about space based operation. So there's some who proposed, forexample, finding asteroids that might be rich in in ice and be able toharvest that ice and move it to the moon as a source of water onthe moon, going from low gravity to low gravity. So they're all kindsof possibilities once you tap into the ability to reliably and economically gain access toasteroids. So my last question for you. Elon Musk is famously said that he'sfine to die on Mars, just not on impact. At what pointdo we see, Dennis Muhlenberg, what is your threshold for space travel?So you're obviously very interested in investing being close to it. At what pointdo we see Dennis Muhlenberg races hand and go put eyes on, up closeon on something in outer space? You want to be one of the firstguys in this next wave. Are you waiting to see certain safety thresholds kindof be in place? Oh, I want to be in that first wavefor sure. So as soon as I can I want to fly into lowerthor of it. Without a doubt and with all the energy and investment that'sgoing into that, I think that's going to happen fairly soon. So oneof my personal goals is within the next decade to be to be flying inspace and to be in low earth orbit. And you know, if I couldrendezvous with the International Space Station or...

...maybe go check out the latest spacefactory, I'd be up for that. So that's your version of the roaringS I like it. That sounds pretty cool. Dennis Muhlenberg, we reallyappreciate you coming on the show today. Always great to see you appreciate it. Ryan. Thanks, I enjoyed the conversation and thanks for the opportunity yougot it. You shouldn't have to worry about IOT projects dragging on or unreliablevendors you've got enough on your plate. The right team of Engineers and projectmanagers can change a pivotal moment for your business into your competitive edge varies.Close Knit crew of ambitious problem solvers, continuous improvers and curious builders know howto turn your ideas into a reality on time and up to your standards,with a focus on mitigating risk and maximizing opportunity, will help you build anIot solution that you can hang your hat on. Let's bring your Iot ideato life. Learn more at very possiblecom. You've been listening to over the AirIot connected devices and the journey. If you enjoyed today's episode, makesure to hit subscribe in your favorite podcast player and give us a rating.Have a question or an idea for future episode? Send it to podcast atvery possiblecom see you next time.

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